Mar 182004
 
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Poor Drafting by the New York Giants Leads to Mediocrity

Despite the presence of free agency, the core of NFL teams remains those players selected in the annual NFL Draft. Teams that do not draft well, usually perform poorly. The reverse is also true.

The problem for the Giants is that their drafting history since the late 1980’s has been abysmal. Ernie Accorsi took over for George Young as General Manager in 1998. Jerry Reese became the Director of Player Personnel in 2002, taking over for Marv Sunderland, who in turn replaced Tom Boisture. The Giants have continued to add new scouts in recent years. But their draft record has not improved.

Let’s look at the Giants’ draft record by round since 1998, when Accorsi became general manager:

First Round:

  • 1998: S Shaun Williams – Disappointing pick who has not played up to his ability. Makes too many mental mistakes.
  • 1999: OT Luke Petitgout – Solid number one selection who has played better than those prospects predicted to do better than him. Quality starter.
  • 2000: HB Ron Dayne – Back-up halfback who has not impressed. 2004 may be his last chance with the Giants.
  • 2001: CB Will Allen – Very good selection who is developing into one of the better corners in the NFL. Quality starter.
  • 2002: TE Jeremy Shockey – Best draft selection by the Giants in the Accorsi-era. An impact player.
  • 2003: DT William Joseph – A non-factor his rookie year. The jury remains out on him.

Summary: The first round has not been too bad for Accorsi. Petitgout, Allen, and Shockey were solid selections. The pick that hurt the most was Ron Dayne. All six picks currently remain with the team.

Second Round:

  • 1998: WR Joe Jurevicius – Never really developed as hoped in New York. Now plays for Tampa Bay.
  • 1999: HB Joe Montgomery – A complete bust.
  • 2000: DT Cornelius Griffin – A promising talent who never really elevated his game after his rookie season. Now plays for the Redskins.
  • 2001: Traded for a 3rd and 4th round pick.
  • 2002: WR Tim Carter – Fast, athletic receiver who has proven to be injury-prone. No impact to-date.
  • 2003: DE Osi Umenyiora – Flashed promise as a two-way defensive end his rookie season.

Summary: The second round has not been kind to Accorsi and the Giants. Only Carter and Umenyiora remain on the roster. The selection of Montgomery was terrible. If Carter doesn’t compete for a starting job soon, this will turn into an even weaker effort.

Third Round:

  • 1998: WR Brian Alford – A complete bust. The Giants gave up their #4 pick to trade up for him too.
  • 1999: TE Dan Campbell – A solid selection. One of the better blocking tight ends in football. Unfortunately, he now plays for the Cowboys.
  • 2000: WR Ron Dixon – A promising talent who never really developed as hoped. Most likely is done with the Giants.
  • 2001: CB Will Peterson – A very talented, but injury-prone player. Quality starter.
  • 2002: OT Jeff Hatch – A complete bust.
  • 2003: TE Visanthe Shiancoe – Has the ability, but must continue to develop and cut down on the mental mistakes.

Summary: The best selection was clearly Peterson. Campbell was a solid pick as well. The jury remains out on Shiancoe. But Alford, Dixon, and Hatch were big mistakes. Batting .500 or lower in the third round is not good.

Fourth Round:

  • 1998: Used in trade for WR Brian Alford, a bust.
  • 1999: HB Sean Bennett – A complete bust.
  • 2000: LB Brandon Short – Solid 2-down linebacker. Decent starter. Not likely to return to the Giants.
  • 2001: DE Cedric Scott – A complete bust.
  • 2001: QB Jesse Palmer – Has not impressed at all, likely a bust.
  • 2002: Traded away to move up to obtain TE Jeremy Shockey.
  • 2003: CB Rod Babers – A complete bust; didn’t even make it out of training camp.

Summary: Horrible, horrible, horrible. Bennett, Scott, Palmer, Babers??? Yuck! Only Short was a solid selection. In all likelihood, there will be NO fourth round picks from the last six drafts on the 2004 roster. That’s disgusting!

Fifth Round:

  • 1998: OT Toby Myles – A complete bust.
  • 1999: OT Mike Rosenthal – Journeyman starter who now plays with the Vikings.
  • 2000: CB Ralph Brown – A fluid, but slow corner who now plays with the Redskins.
  • 2001: PK John Markham – A complete bust, the Giants never even scouted the guy.
  • 2001: WR Jonathan Carter – Flashed some ability, but was waived. Now plays for the Jets. Showed some promise there before tearing up his knee.
  • 2002: LB Nick Greisen – A back-up who has yet to challenge for starting playing time.
  • 2003: OG David Diehl – Promising guard who may even be able to play right tackle. Quality selection.

Summary: Once again, a joke. Aside from Diehl, no one from this group has even challenged for starting time. Only Diehl and Greisen remain on the current roster.

Sixth Round:

  • 1998: TE Todd Pollack – A complete bust.
  • 1999: S Lyle West – Stuck around for a couple of years as a special teams player.
  • 1999: CB Andre Weathers – A knee injury prematurely ended his chances.
  • 2000: LB Dhani Jones – Two-year unimpressive starter who now plays with the Eagles.
  • 2001: Pick traded.
  • 2002: LB Wesly Mallard – Has not impressed at all.
  • 2003: WR Willie Ponder – The jury remains out.
  • 2003: CB Frank Walker – Flashed promise in 2003; needs to cut down on mental mistakes and become a tougher player.
  • 2003: WR David Tyree – Quality special teams player; future clouded by drug issues.

Summary: The 2003 Draft could improve the outlook here, but that depends on the development of Ponder, Walker, and Tyree. The remaining five selections were unimpressive – and only Mallard remains on the roster. Where are the late round gems?

Seventh Round:

  • 1998: OC Ben Fricke – A complete bust in New York; survived as a reserve in Dallas.
  • 1999: DT Ryan Hale – Played a couple of seasons with the Giants, but did not produce.
  • 1999: LB O.J. Childress – A complete bust.
  • 2000: DE Jeremiah Parker – A criminal convicted of beating his child.
  • 2001: DT Ross Kolodziej – See Ryan Hale.
  • 2002: WR Daryl Jones – A complete bust.
  • 2002: LB Quincy Monk – A reserve linebacker; hasn’t impressed to-date.
  • 2003: S Charles Drake – A complete bust.
  • 2003: OC Wayne Lucier – Looks the part; flashes ability. Could end up being a steal.
  • 2003: WR Kevin Walter – A complete bust.

Summary: The only players remaining from the 10 picks are Lucier and Monk. Again, where are the late-round finds?

OVERALL SUMMARY: Unless the Giants draft better in rounds 2-7, they will be hard pressed to compete in the NFC East, let alone for an NFL Championship. There have been far too many wasted picks with premium selections in rounds 2-4. The fourth around in particular has been abysmal for the Giants. But the second and third rounds are not far behind. The latter rounds (5-7) has produced very few credible players, even back-ups or role players. Most are no longer on the team.

Wonder why the Giants are mediocre? Look no farther than the NFL Draft.

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Eric Kennedy

Founder and owner of BigBlueInteractive.com, which is now entering its 20th season. Follow Eric on Twitter @BigBlueInteract.

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